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tv   Up W Chris Hayes  MSNBC  October 22, 2011 4:00am-6:00am PDT

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good morning from new york. i'm chris hayes. libya's interm president, mustafa abdul za lejaleel is exd to declare libya's freedom. new rights against press bashar al ha sad. joining me are hashan matar.
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he is associate professor at barn hart. david sirota, radio host back in denver and author whose latest book is called "back to our future" and zana thaal, growing up in the shadow of sadam and between two world's. she is founder of women international, a nonprofit. you are such an august panel that i had a mouthful to get through. it is wonderful to have you here today. president obama announcing yesterday that the remaining 41,000 troops in iraq will leave there by the end of this year. that was always the plan in theory. though the actual reasons it is happening is that iraq refused to give u.s. soldiers legal immunity for the reactions if they remain. a war that deeply divided the u.s., sold to us on lies couched
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in the fears of another 9/11. it is estimated to have cost is at least 799,948,099 so far not counting the interest we will have to pay on it. at least 4,477 died and tens of thousands more were wounded. 150,000 iraqis are estimated to have died in the war, 12, 00 of them civilians. 650,000 war-related deaths. joining us p.j. crowley, former assistant secretary of state for public affairs, under president obama. a 26-year-old veteran of the air force, the omar bradley chair and strategic leadership at dickinson college, penn state
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law and thank you for joining us. >> good morning, chris. >> given the costs of the war that i just reeled off. this is the iconic example of the government doing something unjust and being unable to stop it it and watching in horror as it unfolded, what was your reaction yesterday to the announcement from president obama that this was finally coming to a close? >> well, i see this in terms of the beginning of a normal relationship between the united states and iraq. i'm scratching my head as some of the reaction of the republican candidates. we have helped make iraq a sovereign country, as you just detailed at a tremendous cost that cannot be sustained or duplicated in any other context. we will find a way to continue to support iraq.
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we will develop a partnership with iraq. it is important to live up to our promises. we said in an agreement with iraq that troops would be out by the end of 2011. it is a good thing that that will happen. then, we will develop other ways of supporting iraq. is still has needs. security forces need training. there are a variety of ways to do that. >> michele bachmann said in the debate something about how iraq should be paying us for our intervention there. i wonder -- i want to ask you about the opposite, which given what i just reeled off, does the u.s. owe iraq reparations in some sense? >> no. >> you say no. >> the first premise is very interesting. we knocked down the door uninvited and we charge iraq for the cost of the door. look, you know, there were very good reasons to refocus on
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saddam hussein in 2002 in the aftermath of 2001. it didn't mean we had to invade the country as you indicated. i was part of the first gulf war. in a sense, the first gulf war never ended. there was their campaign that was lasting right up to the moment that we entered iraq in 2003. so we have accomplished significant things in iraq but at a tremendous cost as you outlined much the real question is, where do we go from here? we will develop a partnership with iraq but obviously iraq is sovereign. it has made a decision that we can't agree on the conditions of a continued u.s. presence. so we will work on support a different way. >> in terms of where we go from here, i want to turn for a moment to the other big story this week, of course, which is the dead of moammar gadhafi. i think there is a case to be made. i don't necessarily hugh to this case but there is a case to be
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made that this week represents a kind of app pargy of barack obama's foreign policy. this is two great defining moments in the foreign policy. the first is the final end to the gadhafi regime in a liberal internationalist intervention that was approved by the u.n. security council with the arab league on board and the other is drawing to a close as he said he would in the campaign, the end of the iraq war. what is your feeling about the performance of the obama administration's foreign policy and what this week says about it. >> it is a fascinating contrast as you just detailed. we will have spent somewhere approaching $1 trillion transforming iraq. as part of a clear alliance and coalition backed significantly by countries in the region, we will spend something north of $1 billion help willing to transform libya. the latter is a far more
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sustainable effort over time to share the burden, to make sure that the operation has international legitimacy. two years ago, we would have thought the last thing we should do is militarily intervene in other arab country. yet, we did that. this is a dog that didn't bark, because the president took the time to make sure that this was supported within the reasonable y region, it had a u.n. security council resolution and that gave it the sustainability that is vitally important going forward. >> we have two people that want to get in the conversation. i want to ask you one more question. when you saw the news that we were intervening in another middle eastern country militarily, what was your immediate reaction? >> my immediate reaction was support only in the larger con text. it is correct to say that lib ba is on the fringe of this part of the world. gadhafi is a nut. obviously, we were seeing the
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beginnings of an enormous transformation in the region, one that is vitally in the united states interest. the intervention has given some momentum as we have seen this week to those that are battling dictators who have made the same choice that gadhafi made, such as bashar al assad. he had to stair long and hastar hard of the picture of gadhafi and ask himself, how much do i really want this job? >> one of my issues is the acknowledgment and responsibility towards iraq. unlike libya, where america was invited by the libyans to come and help them, america made the decision to invite itself to iraq and it destroyed the country. there is a big disconnect between how americans see the iraq war and how iraqis see the bar.
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so for me, it feels like saddam was a bad guy, a very, very bad guy. like someone who hijacked a plane and we destroyed the whole plane and left and said, thank you very much, chop, chop, and we are going. for me, it is very upsetting from an iraqi perspective that we left iraq with no responsibilities towards the destruction that we contributed, america contributed to making in the country. >> p.j. crowley, just so you know, this is zainab salbi, an iraqi american. >> i do. >> there are two ways to interpret when you said. one is that we shouldn't be leaving. sometimes you hear this argument made and sometimes it is made by advocates in afghanistan. for the sake of afghani women that the taliban does not come back, we should not be leaving. is the implication that the u.s. has a duty to remain? if not, what is the implication
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about our responsibility? >> good question. for me, it is how does the u.s. -- how can the u.s. engage differently. for some reason, we only see the engarn engagement as a military engagement. from an iraqi perspective or an afghan perspective, the engagement needed is much more economic, development, can you help us get jobs, can you help us get our economy back together? when president bush was saying that iraqi is going to welcome us, going to welcome us with roses. the iraqis were welcoming america in the beginning but also that welcome was, oh, god, america is going to do the plan for iraq, help us develop our economy. it was the biggest shock to the system today that, no, there was no plan to help the economy and to help the infrastructure. it was actually only a military solution. what i'm arguing is that it is a shift to the way we engage. it may cause far less money than
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the almost $8 billion that we spent on military engagement in iraq. we spend perhaps millions of dollars on economic development. >> p.j., isn't part of the problem that we seem to have a political culture in which we can marshall support to spend $800 billion in wore or spend $1 billion in libya, which, granted was much less, but, let us remember, was never approved by congress. you can spend $1 billion in libya, $800 billion on bombs but when we want to talk about food stamps or home help heating or foreign aid, all of the sudden, we take out the le ledger. >> i agree with everything said. there is a large con stitt wincy for the military component of national power and much less support for the other aspects that are for my decisive over the long-run, diplomacy,
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development, the softer side of what we need to do to help people and shape the world in ways that are conducive to our interests but also shared mutual interests. i think we make a mistake by saying this is the end of our involvement in iraq, the end of the military component of this strategy but we will be engaged in iraq for a long time. we are going to have a large diplomatic presence there. we should have a large diplomatic presence. it is sad that because congress has not appropriated sufficient money, the diplomatic presence we would like to have in iraq, across the entire country, we have had to cut back on that because the money is not there. >> i think the issue here is that it is really good news that we are getting out of iraq but the question is now will the obama administration, can the obama administration actually develop a new conversation about how to engage these countries productivity that's not about simply military and the culture
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of militarism. can we have a conversation about how to engage countries like iraq? not discounting the historic nature of this week. my question is politically for the president, how difficult it will be to actually start that new conversation. if that new conversation doesn't start, it is just like we finished iraq, see you later. >> we also saw yesterday when i thought we were having an editorial meeting and debating after the president made the announcement, what are gop candidates going to say. we were all curious. it would seem madness to come out and slam the president that we are not keeping troops in iraq when the american people don't want to keep troops in iraq. the iraqi people don't want us to keep troops in iraq. who is the constituency for us to keep troops in iraq? that is the gop primary field. that is channeling some part of the american political culture that says we should do that. >> i think the question is do we
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not want this to happen again? >> right. then the answer i think has to be far more fundamental. it seems to me that the foundations of american foreign policy and its attitude towards the world needs to be challenged and not to see this in sort of these episodic sort of readings where we have the bush era and the obama era. if you were to look at the last 100 years of america's engagement with the world, it is informed largely by fear or exploitation in my view. if these effects are to be changed, we need to talk about that. >> i think that's a really important point. just to echo it, on my radio show back in denver, you are talking to callers every day. every so often i mention the fact that if you look at at
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least the last 50 years after world war ii that american foreign policy is in part about empire, an imperial project. you will get some callers to agree with you and some say it is the most offensive. our foreign policy has been a project of empire. >> we are going to have nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel. when we come back, p.j., i want to get your thoughts on your participation in building the american imperial project right after this break. companies you're just a policy.
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our nation enters this conflict reluctantly. our purpose is sure. the people of the united states and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the
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peace with weapons of mass murder. we will meet that threat now with our army, air force, navy, coast guard and marines so that we do not have to meet it later with armies of firefighters and police and doctors on the streets of our cities. now that conflict has come, the only way to limit its duration is to apply decisive force. i assure you, this will not be a campaign of half measures and we will accept no outcome but victory. >> that was george bush announcing the beginning of the iraq war, 8, 8 1/2 years ago. it already has this bizarre jarring antique quality like it is from another era, even though it was only eight years ago. we are joined by richard engel, who i am sure you have seen on your tv sets. >> hello. i have never been on your show. >> it comes with pastry but nobody is eating them.
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i am going to have part of this doughnut. i haven't had breakfast yet but who has doughnuts for breakfast. >> we should get you a napkin. it is fortuitous for us that you are here in the u.s. >> i was there. before, i was there. >> we also have p.j. crowley in washington, d.c. who is joining us. >> i am looking over his shoulders. i can see him. we have hisham matar and zainab salbi and david sirota. >> they were catching up in arabic and david and i were sitting here. >> we were talking about this disgusting thing that was going on with gadhafi, a brutal dictator. i am sure you don't miss him. they have now taken his body after he was effectively lynched. the american troops drove him out of his hiding attacking a convoy, an american nato, french involvement and then he was captured by rebels, pulled out of this drainpipe, shot, beaten,
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ultimately killed with a 'cuda gra to a head. they put him in a freezer and they are parading people through to view this trophy while they are figuring out what to do with him. not good. >> i want to talk about this in a second. >> that's what we were talking about. we weren't saying nasty things about you. >> thank god. first, i want to get back to p.j. i thought the point that david made and hisham made was provocative. if you look at foreign policy in the long view and go back to teddy roosevelt and the philippines, this is a project fundment cali. you are someone that served in the air force and state department. what's your roo he spons? >> i couldn't disagree more. they put the frame of 100 years. in the last 100 years, a battle against fascism and communism and the construction of a
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remarkable what john iken berry of princeton calls a liberal hedge amoanic project. you have a world trade organization, a functioning of the united nations, an open liberal system, a number of democracies have come into the world in the last 30, 40, 50 years. the united states is the lone super power in the world. we throw our weight around. not all of our policies are effective or consistent necessarily with our values. you cannot describe the united states as an empire. we have created a system that we invite everyone in the world to participate in. the last point would be, look, an empire would never leave iraq. the fact is that we had a negotiation. iraq said we can't live with these conditions. we are, in fact, leaving. that is not what an empire does. >> i will be very surprised if you do leave iraq in a sense, just because the army is leaving, history shows that
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america doesn't leave places. if we are going to indulge in fantasy, we can do that. i think it is more interesting to look at things head-on. if one really truly does really truly love this country, as james baldwin has said, it is because i love america that i want to speak truth to it. there is a huge gap between how people like mr. crowley sees the world and how people see it. it reminds me of the 18th century aristocracy and the people on the street. if they can't find bread, give them cake. >> what are we talking about? is america an empire? >> it is 7:00 a.m., why not just think of american as an empire. this is esoteric stuff here. >> i haven't seen many american colonies recently. >> talk about this gap. you spent so much time in that
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region, particularly in the last few years, in terms of the perception of america. >> the empire has changed. the roman empire was the reroman empire. the by zan teen empire has territories around the world. >> the question was, has america projected ilts power as an empire for its own interest to confine other interests? >> yes, and knono. i think it probably could have done it more effectively but it has projected its power. traditional empires would take over colonies and force them into exclusive trade relationships. >> they may be functioning colonies. if we isolate iraq and use it only for its oil and leave it, basically don't build that relationship constructively, that's treating it like a colony. >> i think the americans insist -- >> it is a theoretical question, how you define an empire. >> but i don't think it is necessary for us to go into the
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empire discussion. i would disagree about the 100 years discussion as well. in the last 20 years, america has been inconsistent between the values it carries and it comes across and between some of the foreign policies and how that impacted different countries in the world. it is beyond the empire issue as much as the inconsistency between how we see ourselves as americans and how we come across, inconsistent whether supporting egyptian president and not supporting libyan president but in actuality, they were very similar in actuality. >> p.j., i want you to get a chance to respond before we have to go to break and let you go. >> well, no. i think you look at a situation like kosovo, we intervened there just over 10 years ago not out of empire but because of the desire to have an integrate the europe and today they are an independent country. so i agree with everything that richard just said. there are places where we have failed to intervene effectively. our policies can at times be
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heavy-handed. i think if you look at the world today, it is in a remarkable state with all the controversy we have. >> p.j. crowley, foreign assist stent secretary of state for public affairs. thanks for getting up with us. we are going to come back and talk more about barack obama, his foreign policy, the end of the war in iraq and the end of the gadhafi regime in libya. impact wool exports from new zealand, textile production in spain, and the use of medical technology in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing. come soups that you'll love getting to know. new slow kettle style soups from campbell's. extraordinary taste sensations crafted from premium ingredients.
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i will promise you this, if we have not gotten our troops out by the time i am president, it is the first thing i will do. i will get our troops home. we will bring an end to this war. you can take that to the bank chlth. >> i can report, that as promised, the rest of our troops in iraq will come home by the end of the year. after nearly nine years, america's war in iraq will be over. here at home, the coming months will be another season of home comings. across america, our service men
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and women will be reunited with their families. today, i can say that our troops in iraq will definitely be home for the holidays. >> barack obama making the announcement yesterday about the end of the iraq war. richard engel, you are home for the holidays. >> yes. >> your career as a journalist in some ways as a foreign correspondent has been largely defined by organ in its sort of essence in the iraq war. you spent years and years reporting from iraq. the nation has lived through the iraq war for eight or nine years as one of the most divisive and defining political issues of our day. >> and most expensive. >> and most expensive. when we see that clip from 2007, it was the issue of the 2008 campaign in so many different ways. >> what were your thoughts yesterday when you heard that announcement from the president? >> it does book end a chapter in history. this will be a nine-year conflict ruffle when the last
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american troops leave and we finally know where that end parenthesis goes. that's what i said last night on "nightly news." when history is eventually written, it will say, iraq war, 2003-2011. i had one of these moments to reflect on history, what has been accomplished, how many lives have been lost. i thought about some of the soldiers who have been there, who went deployment after deployment, put their lives on hold, maybe they were injured, maybe they got a divorce, maybe they saw friends get injured or killed in this. and why? i am wondering, i often wonder why? saddam hussein was destroyed. a civil war began. a civil war ended. a new government was created that is by all accounts corrupt and ineffective. now, that corrupt and ineffective government will have to stand on its two feet. it will either fail and go back into civil war. it will props get more
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responsible and with the training wheels off become a more productive, functioning government. or it could just be a failed basket case. and be a continuing problem in the center of the middle east. u.s. troops and the u.s. people, the american people, are going to have to live with that legacy, whatever happens. >> in terms of this, the government and the strength and he ha evgeni kacy of this government, the maliki government. >> it is a horrible government, one of the most corrupt. ut states after 9/11 has built two governments, the government of karzai, a horribly corrupt government, and the government of iraq, subsequent governments of iraq, which have proven to be one more corrupt than the next. this is not something that the united states has done well. >> on the narrow question of the way in which our exit from iraq is taking place, which is the product of a status in forces
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agreement that was negotiated by the bush administration, 2008, and an iraqi government that essentially, my understanding is, and you can correct me, facing tremendous popular will to get rid of american troops. >> no, not tremendous popular rule. let me walk you through what happened. there was a status forces of agreement done in the final days of the bush administration. it was really done some people thought in an underhanded way. it was very private. before the end of the bush administration, there was this agreement to keep troops in iraq until the end of this year i think as a safeguard. they were afraid what soon to be president obama was going to do or any democratic president would do. they say, we are going to lock in a long-term relationship between the u.s. military and iraq. fine. that agreement was done. the last several years have been kind of a stabilizing campaign to get the iraqi government to
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function like any other government in the world. it hasn't been successful but that's what the last several years have been focused on. after the surge, i'm talking. then, combat troops and combat mission ended. there are currently about 39,000 troops in the country. they were going to come home at the end of this year. there had been discussions, mostly from the iraqi side, to keep an extra three, four, five, not clear how many troops there in the country as a just in case kind of force. but several iraqi opposition politicians were using this and saying, well, you are extending the occupation. if those troops come, we won't give them immunity. so what happens now is the president said, if you are not going to give them immunity and there is a significant opposition to them on the ground, you don't get them. >> we are going to be back, right back talking more about the legacy of iraq and we will turn our attention also to the
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intervention in libya, the end of the gadhafi regime right after this break.
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learn more at anga.us. my story of the week, the obama doctrine. if i could send myself back in tinl to tell the 2008 version and a few years hence, barack obama would announce a total withdraw of u.s. forces, the reaction of the 2008 version of me would be very glad but also unsurprised. that's the whole point of electing this guy, right? if you had told the 2008 version of me that barack obama would also oversee a nay cointervention in another country resulting in regime change i would have been pretty darn incredulous. the libya intervention was in many ways also the inverse together with international supports from the united nations and arab league, obama spear headed a regime that resulted in the overtlou of gadhafi. no u.s. ground troops or military casualties.
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the death of gadhafi is the newest instance of what seems to be obama's competent continuation of bush foreign policy. it was the bush administration that had the staut it is of forces agreement that set 2011 as the exit date and obama who made good on it and bush that said he was going to get osama bin laden dead or alive and obama that made good on it. one without all the god-awful rhetoric about wiping out evil. one that is substantially pursuing the same ames. obama has added over 60,000 troops in afghanistan, although it is unclear what that has gained. he has not closed guantanamo and isn't trying khalil shake mohammed in a civilian court although he has expressed the desire to do both.
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he has massively ramped up drone strikes, the pentagon has 7,000 drones. he has just crossed by ordering the killing of an american citizen, anwar al awlacki they have tried saying the opposition of what obama does. >> what would you do about libya? >> exercise a no-fly zone. >> do you think moammar gadhafi has to go as a result of this military intervention? >> i think that now -- let me draw a distinction. i would not have intervened. >> they have also tried lying. >> i will not surrender america's role in the world. this is very simple. if you do not want america to be the strongest nation on earth, i'm not your president. you have that president today.
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>> they have tried to ignore foreign spoil all together. >> when they asked me who is the president of u bekka afghanistan, i am going to say, i don't know. do you know? >> when in doubt, they have gone with trying to say nice things about israel. >> if you mess with israel, you are messing with the united states of america. >> it is time to change our policy of appeasement towards the palestinians to strengthen our ties with the nation of israel. >> israel is our greatest ally. >> as deliciously satisfying as it might be to watch republicans squirm in the presence of democratic successes in the war on terror, there is another side to the coin. if they find it hard to come up with uch substantive to criticize, doesn't that mean us progressives don't have much to crow about either? barack obama once famously said that he didn't just want to end the war but the mind-set that
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got us into war. i think it is hard to say he succeeded in that. hisham matar, i want to talk to you about libya. what is the greatest contrast between the bush administration foreign policy and the obama administration foreign pol sichlt i think the people in the obama administration would themselves say, look at the difference? >> you don't think president obama would have intervened in libya? that's an interesting question. do you think he would have? >> yes. >> so that doesn't count as a discontinuity? >> no, i think he would have done that. >> you favored the intervention? >> yes. >> i think there were a lot of liberals and conservatives and people generally in the u.s. that thought i cannot believe we are going into another middle eastern country. i voted for barack obama because he was going to stop the war. >> people immediately made the connection with iraq, the usual suspect. but i think it was fundamentally different, not only because it saved lives but also because the
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rebellion in libya was home grown. it wasn't imposed on it by a foreign power. also, i think the intervention, you have to see it in light of how countries like america and britain and france and italy dealt with gadhafi before. how their policies propped him up, strengthened him, made him more able to oppress dissidents at home and abroad literally. cia subject to dissidents abroad for him to torture. in a sense, these countries have extended, i would argue, his already very, very long reign and made it very difficult for libyans to do what they have done. therefore, whether the rebellion started, it was, i think, a moral question about, you know, what do you do? i'm not naive. i don't think the intervention was provoked actually by, you know, ethics.
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it was provoked by -- >> you are so cynical, so cynical. >> no. i think i'm a realist in the sense that the facts on the ground changed. therefore, countries like america and italy and britain wanted to continue having an influence given these new facts. which is why my earlier point was what we should really be talking about, i think, and using these events as an opportunity to talk about is the underpinning foundations of the attitude that countries like america and britain and so on have towards countries like libya. >> i think it is more than that. this is an opportunity to also check on our foreign policy towards different parts of the world. we live in an aera where people want jobs. the arab springs was about jobs, dignified livelihood. they want economic development. they want better life. they don't necessarily want more military intervention. i do agree with you about
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america's intervention in libya. this is an opportunity to shift the debate that we are even having right now from how do you look at war from a front line discussion to how do you look at peace from a back line discussion. >> libya was a new model for war. the only thing that libya and iraq have in common is that they both speak arabic and they are both ruffle in the larger middle east. >> and they have a lot of oil. >> and they have a lot of oil. the way the wars were carried out, you couldn't think of something that was more difficult ver gent. these are different kinds of -- when you were concerned, oh, no, here we go again, involvement in another middle eastern country with oil, this was a different kind of involvement. >> i also think there was hundreds of thousands of troops involved in iraq. >> i think there is a degree of sort of snake-bittenness. >> it is also a question about when and how we decide to use military force. why libya and not syria? >> why is it always coincidental that we care about human flights
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countries that have a lot of oil assets or assets for us. >> we are going to talk about that precisely provocative question right after this break. instead of getting to know you they simply assign you a number. aviva is here to change all that. we're bringing humanity back to insurance and putting people before policies. aviva life insurance and annuities. we are building insurance around you.
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apply now at chasesapphire.com/preferred. we are back here with david sirota, zainab salbi, hisham matar, and, you know him very well, richard engel. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> we were just talking about this question of the fact that americans, american allies seem to shift around quite a bit. there are dictators who we are friends with and then they become enemies and we talk about how evil they are and then we become friends. gadhafi went through different cycles. it was almost enemy number one in the 1980s. as a kid, he was this monstrous figure. he was in pop culture as you wrote about in your book. there was a deal struck with the
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bush administration and the eu in which he gave up his attempts to acquire nuclear weapons. >> you know why he did that? a couple of days after saddam hussein was pulled out of a hole. saddam hussein being pulled out of a hole. >> and the bush administration -- >> so he said -- >> the bush administration and the supporters of the iraq war would often point to the decision by gadhafi to give up nuclear arms as a concrete example of the benefits of this intervention. of course -- >> and it was one. >> and, of course, gadhafi ended up going from ally -- do we have the john mccain tweet? i love this tweet. >> interesting. >> yeah, there's this period in which gadhafi is essentially a u.s. ally. john mccain reporting late evening with colonel gadhafi at his ranch in libya. interesting man with an interesting man. he was a buddy and then a few years later we have what we have, which is our firing on his
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convoy leading to him being killed. i want to play gadhafi a few years ago essentially predicting this exact scenario while he was a ally of the u.s. this is him addressing the arar league.
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he was right. >> that was gadhafi exactly predicting the arc of his relation with the u.s. we'll talk more about that. we're centurylink ... we're committed to improving lives and linking americans to what matters most with honest, personal service... 5-year price-lock guarantees... consistently fast speeds ... and more ways to customize your technology. ♪ ♪ apply fixodent once, and it holds all day. ♪ take the fixodent 12 hour hold challenge. guaranteed, or your money back. ♪
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we're talking about the propensity of u.s. -- >> latin america, yes. >> it's true. it's particularly relevant and germane right now in the wake of the arab spring, in the down fall of mubarak and down fall now of gadhafi who was your ally. what's your sense, i would like to hear from you, in the way in which that affects people of the middle east understanding of what the american motivation is when they see us supporting yemen and then he fires on people, we support gadhafi and then we don't.
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>> you said hear from the three of them, why are you looking at me? >> you spent time there, too. >> does the united states foreign policy appear hypocritical? >> yes. >> yes. it's terrifying. there is a great anger among arab leaders, particularly in the gulf, particularly in saudi arabia that the united states had such a close relationship with mubarak and then effectively turned -- turned their back on mubarak and let him fall after 18 days of street protests. there is a great frustration and fear among the arab leaders, at least, that stability in this very crucial region has become a four-letter word. the united states is no longer pursuing stability. that isn't shared by people on the street and there has always been this split between public opinion and what the arab leaders think. i'm giving you the opinion of the arab leaders. they are not pleased with president obama right now. maybe that's a good thing but
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i'm telling you that perception of hypocrisy is very strong. >> does an arab-american comedian say about life as an arab american and libya, iraq, the arab spring? we'll find out. ireless technolo. with advanced power, the verizon 4g lte network makes your business run faster: smartphones, laptops, tablets, mobile hotspots. but not all 4g is created equal. among the major carriers, only verizon's 4g network is 100% lte, the gold standard of wireless technology. and while other carriers may have limited lte coverage, verizon is the largest lte network in america and ever-growing. with verizon 4g lte, you can invent new ways to upgrade your business using real-time group meetings from remote locations, video conferencing, mobile credit-card payments, lightning-fast downloads, and access to thousands of business apps. plus, verizon has the largest selection of 4g lte devices and the most 4g lte coverage for your business. all on america's fastest, most reliable 4g network.
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we're joined in the studio by a man whose family fled lynne libya when he was 15, an author and also teaches english at barnard college, richard engel, author, most recently of a great read called "back to our future," and the iraqi-born author of two books "between two worlds" and "the other side of war" and founder of women for women international and nonprofit group that offers
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assistance to women in war zones. i fear when i give all of the bios we have to go to break right after i'm done. we were just talking about this issue of the u.s. -- the u.s.'s relationship to dictator in the arab world. and the fact that arab leaders are starting to get a little nervous about what's happening. the fact that the -- >> very nervous and very angry. >> there's this cartoon that has been circulating the arab world i saw someone post on facebook. it shows leaders -- it shows gadhafi -- i think -- is that mubarak and binn ali and assad, head of syria, yet to be axed out. you said something during the break that i thought was interesting about our intervention in libya. >> we were talking about war and saying that if the future model of war is based on libya, i think it would be a great thing for the world. if we never had to -- i don't
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think war is great. i've always said since the beginning morally, you know, war is a disgusting, horrible project. but assuming wars are sometimes necessary, and i think they sometimes are, if you didn't have to have the iraq model, which is sending in a giant occupying army to take over a country and then try to build up a government, that model didn't work. >> and you two both agree, which i thought was remarkable. >> the difference -- >> you have nato or the u.s. acting as the air force for the opposition and letting the opposition do it themselves it's a much better model. >> i agree in a sense. >> i thought you said i didn't agree. >> i agree in a sense. it seems to me not necessarily the crucial point to make, with all due respect. in the sense that this point assumes that what america really wants is to promote democracy in these countries. that's not consistent with -- >> but whether we want to or not -- >> the motivation -- i'm just talking about the tactic, the way to do it. this is a better way of doing
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it. >> hopefully we will come to a place we don't need to do it. >> that would be great. >> there's a huge difference between america imposing on iraq and the libyan people or the syrian or all of that taking ownership of that change. that's a huge difference. in neither case you can predict the change. but the people took charge of that change. >> sure. but, look, i mean, i agree with what's being said. but the trouble i'm having with it is that it seems to me more crucial to discuss how fundamentally american policy in the middle east has undermined democratic movements and has put its weight behind these dictators because they guarantee stability -- >> i wouldn't say recently. >> but the tactics of war. one thing i worry about is if we are led to believe we can conduct wars in this way -- >> it's dangerous. >> it's a video game war. they warned about that in the gulf war.
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it was norman swarz couchwartz o said this isn't a video game war. >> it becomes difficult to exercise democratic -- it did not go that way at all -- >> you're right and you're right. it becomes easy, just push a button and too much. >> no doubt about that. >> but one -- >> it's a better, easier system. >> than the iraq war. >> if someone is giving us the first choice between libyan intervention and iraq intervention, as september cal of american power, what i find fascinating in what you said this morning is that you still supported this intervention. >> absolutely. >> i think americans need to hear that or at least american liberals who are disposed to oppose it need to hear it precisely for that reason. >> my skemepticism doesn't come from nothing. i'm american and libyan, so i have a strong allegiance to both. and my jealousy for guarding what's going on or commenting on
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what's going on stems from that place. the thing is that this narrative that mr. crowley was talking about, which is that, you know, we, america, has been consistently supporting democratic movements, has made democracy more not less, it's completely inaccurate. it's not just inaccurate, it's dangerous. it paints reality in a completely different color. in libya democratic movements, people like myself, other -- people like my father, were undermined by american foreign policy. we weren't supported by it because gadhafi was strengthed by american rule. similar people in egypt were in a similar position. this is what i feel we need to talk about than what kind of war would be more effective and more humane. >> would you explain to me the context of your father and what happened to him in libya. >> my father is a political dissident, like many people. i didn't mean to single him out. >> no, it's okay. it's your dad. >> but he was in opposition to
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gadhafi way from the start. my father was a diplomat here in new york, which is why i was born in new york. and he resigned in 1973, which is an important year in libya. >> four years into -- >> yeah. that's when the constitution was abolished and gadhafi effectively announced himself leader forever. my father has led this long career in opposition. we moved into exile. in 1990 he was kidnapped from his home in egypt, dragged back to libya, tortured, imprisoned, and faced what so many libyan dissidents have faced which is, you know, to have disappeared into the prison system. we don't even know if he's alive or dead. this has happened to many people. as it was happening, of course, foreign policy -- american foreign policy with libya has gone through so many stages in this. i don't to want paint it all as one uniform thing but certainly since 2003, you know, it has been on the side of gadhafi, not on the side of people like my father. and if you are looking at
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democratic movements in egypt, you have a very similar -- so, my argument is actually very simple and it seems to me rather practical, which is that if we're talking about interests of stability and interests of justice and culture and the rule of law, this is what we're really interested in here. then it seems to me that america will be saving itself a great deal of trouble. and become more efficient at that goal if it doesn't put its weight behind dictators that will be there for as long as possible but behind these organic grass roots movements. >> but let me ask you a provocative question, which is that it seems to me the deal that was struck with gadhafi to disarm, to stop pursuing nuclear weapons may have been the right deal to strike. that that allowing itself as demon strous -- >> but that doesn't impact the people. >> but there has been -- forgive me, that has been so much
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exaggerated. there are people in the cia that say it's exaggerated. the weapons of mass destruction gadhafi supposedly had were moth balls. it was a gesture a i way to win points for bush and called, as you pointed earlier, the libya model, which means what now? means you back up a dictatorship at the expense of its people. >> i completely agree with it. america needs to be consistent to how it carries its values. it's not coming across as consistent. >> it's always consistent. >> each country is different. >> for democracy and stability -- >> if i'm a negotiator and i'm the united states, do i really want to be consistent all the time and predictable all the time? we're a little more subtle than that. >> it's my values not my tactics. >> the consistency, to tease this out in terms of consistency, because i understand this hypocrisy charge and -- >> the problem is not -- not the question that america means well but it's not being consistent. no. i actually believe that the
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people who are deciding these policies and talking about these policies don't care very much about civil rights movements or people are talking about justice and democracy. it cares about stability. it seize the this is region as volatile place and we need to secure it. you have a dictator loyal to you. >> go back to 2003, the war in iraq is appearing to go very, very well. look at where america is in 2003. america is incredibly strong. iran is in a panic. syria thinks it's about to be invaded. libya decides, you know what, weapons of mass destruction program, we don't need it and we should come up with a final deal on lockerbie. i think the united states was absolutely right to embrace that. now, should they have also insisted on more rights for dissidents, more democratic principles? yes, surely. and maybe there was a missed opportunity to do that. you know, you could overly embrace and we embraced some
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people in the intelligence community in, you know, other nasty figures in libya as part of that process. >> maybe this one the great things to come out of the arab spring is that it's forced the hand of the obama administration and u.s. government to maybe see small "d" democratic movements can be congruent with stability. used to be stability or democracy. and the arab spring -- >> i'm not sure if that's -- >> it's okay. >> i'm holding up a possibility. i'm holding out the hope, possibility. >> change by definition does not mean stability. it may be instable and we have to tolerate the instability arab spring will be about. it's okay. it's owned by the people. >> after this illuminating conversation, after this break we're going to talk about the gop fields' take on america's role in the world which a little less ed fiing. for fastidious lin emily skinner,
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i want to talk about how republicans have reacted this week to the real landmark moments for president obama. announcing the withdrawal by the end of the year of remaining u.s. troops from iraq, the exception of diplomatic protection, and, of course, the death of moammar gadhafi in libya. let me read to you romney's statement they put out this statement in reaction to the announcement yesterday by president obama. president obama's astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of american men and women. the unavoidable decision is as a result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the iraqi government.
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as an iraqi woman, what is your response to hearing that from mitt romney in response to the announcement? >> i think we didn't have victory in iraq to start with. a victory can happen afterwards. the iraqis are confused in terms of american engagements. they say we want america engagement and not really american engagement. that's not the issue, withdrawal or not, the issue is what america does after that with iraq. how does it engage after with iraq. >> what you're seeing from the gop field, we have a whole bunch of comments, perry campaign, bachmann campaign, saying we're leaving with our tails between our legs, it's embarrassment -- >> it's not a stupid political move. is that statement is smart, in a way, because if iraq fails, if iraq goes back into civil war, people can say, we told you so. it was you, president obama, who didn't have an orderly
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transition. but let's look at the reality, what was here. the troops were coming out anyway. we were talking about leaving 3,000, 4,000 troops as trainers who weren't going to have immunity. if iraq goes down a terrible path again, which it might, those few thousand trainers weren't going to make much of a difference anyway. but that's not a bad bit of -- that's not a bad gamble. you say, iraq's probably -- >> it's ahead. >> yeah. and going down the toilet. >> you could say, look -- >> it's important to remember the history of the political rhetoric they're using. i just wrote a book about the 1980s. i think what they're tapping into is this whole idea it goes back to the vietnam war, that we're leaving, we're cutting and running. all of these things we heard during bush with iraq cutting and running. all taps back into what came out of the aftermath of the vietnam war where republicans said we left, too weak, politicians meddled. and george bush said i'm going to defer all presidential
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decision-making to the commanders on the ground. so, it's the same thing you're hearing right now from the republicans. >> whenever i hear that, i always think -- i always think about a counterfactual world in which an american president said i'm going to defer all tax questions to people of the irs. we should leave it to the irs and they should recommend with how much taxes we collect. no other part of american political life when what is essentially the bureaucracy, the armed forces, within the executive branch, that political leaders proudly brey about the fact -- >> it's a powerful hot button. republican candidates know this. they know they're pushing that button from all the way back in the 1980s saying to voters, saying to the american electorate, the democrats are weak because they're getting us out of a war, which is what they've been saying since after the vietnam war. >> commanders should be given a great deefl latitude on the ground, frankly. if you're in a battle, it's not like tax collection. you're in a war zone moving
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troops around, dealing with the different relative strengths and weaknesses of your local partners, whether that be an afghan militia or iraqi militia. i think you do need -- >> but that's been extrapolated. it's not tax policy. >> but in the most basic sense of what self-governance is and democratic oversight -- >> why they're there -- >> has to come from the top. >> a choice of whether you leave troops -- what's embedded in mitt romney's comment is the question of whether you leave troops in a country is fundamentally not a political question for self-governance but a question to be outsourced to the generals, to the military apparatus. >> i didn't see that -- is that in his quote? >> he says, we don't know if this is a naked political calculation but he says the american people deserve to hear the recommendations made by our military commanders in iraq. >> i would like to hear -- >> but i hear -- chris, i think you're exactly right. >> thank you, david. >> i know we're agreeing.
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>> we'll have you back on the program. >> but my point is -- >> i'd like to hear what those recommendations were on the ground. >> but the issue is mitt romney is suggesting that the military leadership should decide the overall policy about whether to stay in a country or not. this is different than this commander wants to move this truck or this tank into this town. >> you know, it's -- >> military commanders are always cautious, right? and i know people who are very afraid that iraq is going to -- going to go back into civil war. >> american troops are not going to be the ones to get iraq out of civil war. >> probably not. >> what's disturbing about this discussion, it's only a military discussion. what's going to save iraq is not a military discussion. you can bring back 100,000 troops. they did not necessarily, you know, in a way american contributed to the civil war in iraq. but. >> military commanders see things through with a military view. >> that's the problem. there's a whole aspect of war. there's a civilian aspect. we don't address it. we don't spend enough money on
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it or discussion on it. >> i tend to agree with her. i don't like the 2,000 extra troops, even if iraq goes back to civil war. >> that's underscored by the republican rhetoric, stipulates, suggests as an assumption, not to be challenged, that the questions for iraq, the questions for the world, are military questions. >> president bush kept calling himself the decider, i decide, i set the tone, i decide if we're going to war or not. >> so, it was always caveated, i listen to what the generals say and i -- and i essentially do what they recommend. i mean, that was -- and the way that we saw -- >> that's not true. a lot of the generals weren't recommending to go to war. >> that is very true. that's a good point. >> a lot of generals saying, you know, this is not a good idea. >> the way he framed it to the american people is, this decision to stay in iraq is a decision almost not by me but i'm being told what the military wants and in a country that basically worships militarism, i'm going to defer to the military as a political tactic. what that says to the country is, you may have elected a
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president but the only thing a president should and can do on foreign policy is to defer to the pentagon. which is fundamentally undemocrat. >> let's go back to arab spring. we're in an era, i want to take this back, this was not a military change throughout arab spring. it was an economic change, people being frustrated with their lives and with dictatorships and their inability to get jobs. this is an opportunity for america to capture this moment of change and shift the debate from the military one to the development one. if we can shift human aid, american aid, to all military, the egyptian military and put that same money into developing jobs in these countries, it will help america and help these countries stabilize. >> richard engel, nbc news chief foreign correspondent and yesterday my executive producer came down and he had just done a head. i said to richard, will you object our show tomorrow? sure, sure, thinking he had signed up for a four-minute sit in studio. you've been here -- you've been
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amazingly great commentator. we're going to let you go and get some sleep. >> nice to meet you all. nice to meet you. glad luck. >> good luck. i appreciate you. >> having a baby? >> having a baby, yeah. >> yes. >> very exciting. >> five weeks from now. >> congratulations. >> thanks a lot. dean is an arab-american comedian. we'll get his take. nnouncer ] to the 5:00 a.m. scholar. the two trains and a bus rider. the "i'll sleep when it's done" academic. for 80 years, we've been inspired by you. and we've been honored to walk with you to help you get where you want to be. ♪ because your moment is now. let nothing stand in your way. learn more at keller.edu.
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a friend of mine said you look pretty white. i understand how i look. it's my name that gets the problem. they say, translate it into english. let me share with you what it means. it translates into servant of allah. that's not helping at all, is it, folks? dean serve anant of allah? how difficult would it be for me to make flight reservations?
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>> dean abidal, palestinian comedian, co-creator and co-producer of arab new york comedy festival. great to have you. i want to get your take on the news yesterday that this sort of m momentous week, the dth of gadhafi and announcement in iraq. what was your feeling about what happened? >> at first with gadhafi, i think it was universally everyone was happy. he had evolved from this scary terrorist to a punch line. the way he dressed, the female body guards. with iraq, though, i'm much more torn. i'm fearful for the people of iraq. what will it be like? what will their lives have? will there be security? will iran's influence make any gains during our time of war erased? in talking to people who follow iraq, iraqi-americans, there's some concern. but gadhafi every arab-american i know was very happy he's gone.
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>> ví disturbing about gadhafi is how everyone is celebrating his lynching, if you may. for me, it's really -- we can't duplicate what he did to people. it hurts us. it hurts the future generation. >> will you guys let me know when you -- i want to show the clip of gadhafi's capture. no hurry, but let me know when you have that. >> absolutely, that's -- it's a moment where all -- it's -- in a sense it's a moment of national madness, you know, where the frustrations and the fear and the oppression has just been expressed in arguably the worst possible way. >> we have the video of gadhafi's capture. i want to warn folks, this is pretty graphic. this is a cell phone video taken of gadhafi's capture this week.
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>> this is wrong. >> yeah. the video of -- that's a video of the capture of moammar gadhafi. obviously, the end of the gadhafi regime ended definitively ended with this joyous moment. you were saying that is wildly shared. that video i found a little -- >> no doubt it's disturbing. it's a human being. you feel a sense of pain for him. but they had a trial and he was killed, would we feel slightly
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better when they hung saddam hussein? are they trials for american citizens in yemen being killed by drones? we have a double standard. he was a murderer, his people killed him. we didn't kill him. >> here's what disturbs me about this, and no different than the execution of saddam hussein or how he was pulled out, that if we don't take responsibility and if we don't shift the way these guys -- these horrible guys have treated the people, then whoever replace them become exactly the same like them. that's what happened in iraq. >> i mean, absolutely, i agree. ideally he would have been treated differently but it has to be put into context in the sense that the people that captured him are civilians. civilians who have been fighting for the past eight months. some of these guys haven't slept properly for about eight months. many of them have seen people they know close to them killed, raped, you know, towns pillaged. that's not to justify it at all. i'm completely against this, of course, but just to put it into
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context, you know, and to try to imagine what it would be like. >> this is a man who threatened -- gadhafi threatened to kill his own people to the point where that was one the justification of president obama going in. and i hope it's a wake-up call for assad in syria, frankly, to see this video of this man. he just killed 24 people yesterday, assad in syria. and we're not standing up to that at all. it's troubling to me. >> you've been spent a lot of time in the middle east. you do stand-up comedy. we thought -- you know, we're having a pretty weighty discussion today. we should get a comedian somewhere in here. >> great people with this great background and now a comedian. >> it's great to have you here. what is the reaction to your show? what's it like to be touring the show as an arab-american in the middle east, doing your stand-up comedy in english at this moment in the middle east, xh is one of the most sort of incredible moments we've seen? >> it's been unbelievable. one of the highlights of my career because i'm seeing a
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different part of the world. i was in saudi performing when the egypt revolutionary was going on. speaking to young saudis -- all the people supported what was going on in egypt. they didn't want it in their own country. they go, we're doing fine here. you're kidding? no 120,000, $130,000 per person, you don't to want revolt. now the story is the young people there are doing comedy in egypt, in dubai, in saudi a vibrant comedy scene. no movie theaters, they're banned but allowed to be stand-up comedy. they're being more expressive. i think one day there will be an arab chris rock, an arab jon stewart who uses comedy to push up against politics like we do in america. when i'm there, i can't make fun of the leader, except lebanon. the promoter said, say whatever you want but if you make fun of hezbollah, you're on your own. he said that. >> did you have to edit your -- >> yeah, i had a bunch of
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hezbollah jokes. it's exciting to see the growth of stand-up comedy over there. they're embracing it. the fact they're using it as a sense of empowerment. young people talk about issues they want to talk about. >> i'm skurs, do you tell any jokes when you're over there -- >> many. >> -- an arena for humor about american behavior in the region? >> jokes about american politics play great. the young people there follow american politics. george bush was an amading god send for xheedance -- >> not just here in the u.s. >> they could laugh at him and not see him in a way that -- not to say they like him, but they can laugh at him as a xhecomedi figure. >> it's ka th katrina cathartic. if you don't hold a mirror, the rest of the jokes pale in comparison. like i talk about arabs love
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smoking. i went to a gym and there was treadmill and ashtray. arab men fighting over check, and using words god willing, we know this, overuse of those terms. jokes about them holding a mirror up to them in front of their own culture, without getting into religion. you can't tell joes about islamism, judaism or christianity. it's not like going up there -- buddhi buddhist, fair game. but the point is, the -- it's still in the infancy. the reason we limit ourselves because we don't want to destroy this movement of comedy across the region. it's exciting to see this. >> do you think there's a change in the way the u.s. is viewed in that region, as you're traveling around, since the cleavage between bush and obama and obama made this speech in cairo and everybody looked at the election of obama as signaling the american people giving a negative referendum to the bush regime. has that change the the way -- >> it had. i performed in cairo the day after president obama was
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elected. i heard the result of the election in lufthansa by the stewardess in german. >> terrible accent. >> they cheered overwhelming. about 2,000 people at the hoe in cairo. the excitement for ambassadobam. he had such great promise. he came in. everyone expected the best. everyone viewed him as fulfilling whatever he wanted. he was set up to fail. you feel, he's not as popular today as he was. >> if can you stick with us, that would be great. we'll be right back. ♪ [ multiple sounds making melodic tune ] ♪ [ male announcer ] at northrop grumman, every innovation, every solution, comes together for a single purpose --
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claimed author. >> you haven't read it? >> not yet. i thought i could read part of the novel or bone up on my facts of gadhafi and i figured i could go with fact or fiction. i look forward to reading it. and dean, a comedian. i want to talk to you about -- the whole premise you were part of this axis of evil comedy tour, and ahmad ahmad. and i think the premise -- the premise of that comedy tour was the experience of being arab-american in a time in america post-9/11 in those sort of two, three, four years afterwards when fear was at its height, when the arab world was seen as something full -- seething with jihadies who wanted to kill us and a lot of strong suspicion. how have things changed from when you did that tour to now in terms of what the general
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feeling is in america toward arab-americans and also in terms of how the arab spring has reformulated people's sort of mental image. >> i think on some level the arab spring has been amazing at showing people in arab want the same freedoms. they hate us for our freedoms. i hope that is undermining that argument forever. one of the debates attacked us for our freedoms. anti-muslim sentiment, which is arab and muslim not the same -- >> majority of arabs are christians. >> right. i think anti-muslimism is worse now. it's accepted, main stream people use it to sell bookdz, go on tv, run office for it. a recent poll showed 47% of americans don't think muslims share the same values as they do. meaning we don't value life the same way, we don't embrace mockeries. it's a trying time. i look at the bright side.
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they could give hurricanes muslim names. that's not going to happen. as a comedian try to make sense of this ridiculous world we live in, where we're not only judged by our worst examples we're sentenced to a crime and convicted for the worst examples of people in our community. >> but you don't feel as -- as you were saying you feel like there has been a changed -- >> as an iraqi, i moved here in 1990 when i would tell people i was iraqi and they would jump back and i would go, no, no, i don't have a gun. then moved into post-september 11th, like, please, chinese, russian, anybody, not a muslim. now when i say i'm iraqi, people say, i'm sorry. and i actually -- personally for me and now when i say i'm an arab, there's a celebration. but i agree also with you that it's become main stream and -- >> two years mitt romney said i would not pick a muslim for my cabinet, in 2008. next thing john mccain said, that's wrong, i served with muslims in the military.
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you come forward now, you have herman cain and gingrich saying that. not one republican stood up to them. no republican stood up to the shariah law crap. >> it was a big deal when chris christie gave that speech. >> that was the only one. >> it was a big deal -- >> chris christie had nominated someone from new jersey court who was muslim and there was a campaign waged to block him, essentially because of his faith, and chris christie to his great credit stood up and defended him. >> an amazing speech. what was amazing it was a news event because what he was saying was considered so radical within one of our major parties. >> we saw the same thing when michael bloomberg gave his speech in support of what was dubbed erroneously the ground zero mosque. >> and rick perry is accused of being soft on islam. that's the term he uses because he has friends that are muslim in texas. islam is gone from a religion from a political statement.
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you have muslim friends. somehow it taints you. it troubles me as an american. i'm a touring alcoholic with muslims we did all shows in the south and midwest. the tour is not about islams. it's about america. >> and the issue also is not islam. it's the most fundamental islam. you know, i'm a muslim. all my friend are muslim -- not all. the point is it's not fundamental islam. there's a particular group of people who hijack the religion. this is not the rest of the muslim population. >> i'm going to tell you what i now know that i didn't know last week. [ female announcer ] that's the all-natural sugar she puts on her grapefruit.
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in just a second i'll tell you what i didn't know when the week began. in this spot i usually do corrections in a segment we call "update" but we have no krection but i want to wish ezra the
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best. bride-to-be is have bit as much of a catch as ezra, a joy to be around. mont i found marriage to be pretty rad and you will, too. a preview of "weekends with alex whit". >> president obama can bring home the troop, he can bring home the bay con? why one of the gop rising stars is finding himself in the middle of a controversy some 60 years in the making. we're also going to go back in time with dylan rhadigan, sporting a thomas jefferson wig, what that has to do with the mess our economy is in right now. we'll explain all that. that one is a keeper coming up here, chris. >> rhadigan in a jefferson wig, sounds great. what do we now know we didn't know last week? we know moammar gadhafi's long bloody rein is over. we know he'll never have to stand trial before the
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international criminal court and account for his times crimes. the difference between a death at rebels and a sentence of international court of law is the difference between vengeance and justice. we know in the past week the u.s. killed the son of anwar alackey in a drone strike and we know because we've seen his birth certificate. he was all of 16 years old. like his father, a u.s. citizen. this is what he liked like when alive. we do not know whether the u.s. drone ending his life was targeting him or he got in the way of somebody else. it's not too much for our government to give us answers. we know it's not just drone attacks where president obama is setting records. in fiscal 2011 the obama administration deported 296,000 people, part of a stepped up enforcement plan. it says it's targeted immigrants without documentation and with criminal records. we also know mitt romney, who said this at the last debate -- >> i'm running for office for pete's sake. i can't have illegals.
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>>ist the most intepgsally honest candidate in the field. we know the washington metro region has the highest median household income of anyplace in the country, surpassing even silicon valley with a median household income north of $84,000. we know this is what thebóñ lobbying contractor industrial complex has wrought and we also know meanwhile the median wage for americans in general is a paulty $26,000. the lowest it's been, adjusting for inflation, since 1999. we know that ohio's republican governor john kacich will sign executive order cracking down on exotic pets after a man in zanesville released lions, tigers, bears, wolves and monkeys before killing himself. the executive order comes after he let a previous order banning exotic pets lapse. we know a monkey, either remain at large or was eaten by one of the other escaped animals.
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we also know, i wish we didn't, that monkeys can have herpes. we know the first trial results for a new malaria vaccine are in and are very promising. the drug by glaxosmithkline cut in half the risk of malaria. in 2009 malaria killed 780,000 people worldwide. we know it's easy to take for granted our privilege of living in places where we are not stalked by the fear of our child being cut down by an awful disease. we know that it's within our power to make sure a day arrives where no parent lives with that terror. so, what do my guests know now that they didn't when the week began? [ male announcer ] chicken broccoli alfredo.
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want to find out what my guests know that they didn't know when the week began? david, columnist, author of "back to our future" and the station in denver -- >> am 760. >> what do you know now that you
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didn't know at the beginning of the week? >> i don't want to say i didn't know this, i suspected it. i think we now definitively know that the republican party is willing to say absolutely anything as long as it's in juxtaposition to barack obama. i mean that specifically on foreign policy. barack obama has basically conducted, i think, most of george bush's foreign policy. i mean, he's now getting criticized for finishing up the deal with the iraqis that george bush himself cut. and the republican party is criticizing him for that. so, i think now, if there was ever any doubt about whether the republican party is just basically organized against barack obama, and that is the only thing that organizes them, now we know. >> and that is particularly true on foreign policy. we played the great clip of gingrich saying, why would he interview anyway? and then he says, i don't to want intervene. the only thing it that changed is barack obama. what do we now know we didn't know at the beginning of the
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week? >> for me i learned the libya national council has one woman minister, the minister of women's affair. i have no faith in any government being able to rebuild its country fully if it doesn't include women fully. not only in women's affairs, family affairs, but in defense and development and economy and all of these things. so, this is the role that america can help in pushing that. in this transitional moment we need more women in the discussion. >> this is the transitional council which is the governing body of post-gadhafi libya. >> novelist, libyan, what do you now know? >> i was surprised to read in "the new york times" that america is less equal than egypt and tunisia. that really did surprise me. i know there are many inequalitities in america, i wasn't naive, but not to that extent. i don't know how they did the
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survey. it seems to me in a time when politicians are talking about being the greatest country in the world, i think we need to question how we define the great country. >> yeah. this is about income equality in the u.s. relative to other places. our income inequality when you use a certain measure, using the standard macro economic way, stacked up against other countries, puts us very near the top of income inequality and ahead of some places you would think would be far more, egypt, i think we might ahead of argentina at the moment. dean, comedian, what do you now know you didn't know at the beginning of the week? >> i learned that i love republican debates now. after watching romney and perry fight each other, i want to ee it spin off into a tv series. it's better than "dancing with the stars." it was a lot of fun. great tv. i hope they go on the road. continue to make money, perry versus romney, battle royale. >> thank you. my thanks to hisham, dean of
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arab-american comedy festival, david, and zane, author of two books. thanks for joining us on "up." coming up is "weekends with alex witt" and join us next week when we talk to the republican presidential candidate who does support occupy wall street. you can follow us on twitter and get updates on our upcoming programs. that's "up" for today. see you tomorrow. thanks for getting up. ♪ ♪ [ multiple sounds making melodic tune ] ♪
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[ male announcer ] at northrop grumman, every innovation, every solution, comes together for a single purpose -- to make the world a safer place. that's the value of performance. northrop grumman.
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right now on msnbc, a promise kept. presidt

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